Serums vs Creams: Which Skincare Product is Right For You?



With so many skincare products out there designed to target what seems like hundreds of different skin concerns, it can be hard to tell which one is right for you at first glance. Throw in words like serum, creams, ampoules, essences - and it can be downright impossible to know what your skin needs! 

Some of the most common skincare products today are serums and creams. You’ve probably used them in your routine at some point, but do you know what the purpose of each one is? Keep reading to learn the difference between serums and creams and how to determine which  is better depending on the specific skin concern you want to treat. 

 What is The Point of A Serum?

A serum is usually used to target skincare concerns as a step that falls somewhere in between cleansing and moisturizer in your skincare routine. They are usually packed with a higher concentration of ingredients to treat your skin.

There are so many serums that exist in the skincare world today - from drugstore to high-end, from really simple ingredients to targeted custom formulas. But the main purpose of a serum is to deliver active ingredients to your skin as part of your skincare routine. Serums can range from offering ingredients like Vitamin C for discoloration and dark spots,  Niacinamide for blemishes or oily skin, Hyalurnoic Acid for hydration, and more. There is definitely a serum out there for everyone to target their specific skincare concerns - it’s just a matter of finding one that works for you and your skin!


 Should I Use A Serum or a Cream? Can They Be Used Together?

If you’re thinking about using serums and creams, you should first determine your skin type. If you have dryer skin, you should definitely be using a moisturizing cream in your skincare routine to target dryness. However, you could also use a serum before your cream almost like a ‘booster.’ For example, if you use a hyaluronic acid serum, then follow it with a hydrating moisturizer on top, you can really seal in the moisture to keep your skin hydrated and soft.  

Oily skin types can get away with just using a lightweight serum as their moisturizing step, if desired. Especially in the summer when skin is at it oilest, it might be too heavy to use both a serum and a cream on oily skin. For example, if you want to treat dark spots, you could use a vitamin C serum then follow it with your SPF, skipping the moisturizing step.

Ultimately, once you find a serum that works for you, you can incorporate it into your skincare routine as you see fit. Whether that’s twice a day or only at night/morning, once you begin using it you’ll be able to tell where it makes sense in your routine! 

Our Favorite Lightweight Serums For Targeted Skin Concerns

A serum that’s formulated to target your specific skincare concerns is a great addition to any skincare routine. Experiencing acne or clogged pores? A chemical exfoliant or blemish treatment serum is a must-have. Dark spots or hyperpigmentation? An antioxidant such as Vitamin C can help. Or maybe you’re trying to treat signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles? A firming serum will work magically!

  1. Vitamin C Serum

Vitamin C is an essential ingredient for revealing a glowing complexion and fighting sun damage. It’s basically a must-have for a glowing skin routine. We can’t get enough of our Lighten Up Brighten Up Vitamin C Serum’s amazing blend of Rosehip Oil, Vitamin C, Lemon Balm Leaf Extract, and of course, the amazing Coffea Arabica Seed Extract. It’s a powerhouse for brighter and more even-toned skin and our go-to serum for glowing skin.

  1. Firming Serum

If you don’t have dry skin or feel the need to use a heavy anti-aging cream, you can opt to use a firming serum instead. Formulated with anti-aging and antioxidant ingredients, like Vitamin C, Vitamin E and jojoba oil, a firming serum is a lightweight way to start targeting signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles or loss of collagen and elasticity in the skin. You could also use this serum underneath an anti-aging cream to really boost the antioxidant effects to your skin. 

  1. Eye Serum

Serums are not just for the skin on your face! You can also use a lightweight eye serum to treat and reduce the appearance of dark circles, puffiness, and fine lines. We recommend using an eye serum in the morning and a heavier eye cream at night. If you experience puffiness under the eyes when you wake up, keep your eye serum in the fridge for a cooling and de-puffing effect.

Our Favorite Creams for Treating Dry Skin

  1. Night Cream

If your skin is feeling a little on the drier side, a thick cream applied before bed can really help seal in moisture and hydration while you sleep so you wake up to softer skin. We love this cream because it is packed with hydrating oils and skin-loving ingredients like mango butter. Feel free to slather it on so it really sinks into your skin overnight!

  1. Anti-Aging Cream

Starting to notice fine lines, wrinkles, or other signs of aging? You should definitely begin to incorporate an anti-aging cream into your routine as a preventative measure. We love this formula because it uses Date Seed Extract, an ingredient known to have an impact on the visible signs of aging due to its antioxidant properties. Combined with Sunflower Seed Oil to improve hydration and Shea Butter to soften the look of rough and damaged skin, it really packs an anti-aging punch. 

  1. Eye Cream

Make sure you’re not forgetting about the skin under your eyes! This delicate area requires gentle care, so if you’re applying an eye cream be sure to gently pat it in using a finger. We like to use an eye cream at night for extra moisture and an eye serum in the morning for lightweight hydration. For drier skin types, an eye cream is a must to help freshen up the undereye area and prep for makeup so it doesn’t cling to pesky dry patches.

Now that you know the difference between serums and creams and the best way to incorporate into your skincare routine, you’ll be well on your way to achieving glowing, radiant skin in no time! Let us know if you prefer a serum or cream in the comments below.

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